Free teaching resource: It’s your right – health and safety guidance for migrant workers.
HSE has produced a free DVD for teachers working with migrant and refugee workers or work-seekers attending ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes to learn English.
The DVD, which is just under 6 minutes long, uses simple English to explain basic health and safety rights for all workers. Workplace health and safety is enforced both by HSE and Local Authority Environmental Health Officers.
With subtitles in English, it also explains how workers can contact HSE anonymously if they have concerns about their workplace. They can do this in their own language if they prefer – HSE provides access to phone interpreters in over a hundred languages.
Everyone who works in the UK has a right.
It is the right to work in safety, and without risking your health.
The Health and Safety Executive is the organisation that looks after the health and safety of all workers in the UK.
The Health and Safety Executive makes sure employers obey the health and safety laws.
It also has the power to prosecute employers who ignore them.
These laws protect you, even if you’re working in the UK without the correct documents.
Health and safety at work is about potential risks things that could go wrong.
In every work place there are potential risks. Perhaps your job means that you lift heavy things.
or work at height up a ladder, on scaffolding, or on a roof.
You could slip.
Perhaps you work with vehicles, or work near them; use machinery; breathe in dust or fumes;
Work where noise could damage your hearing.
work with dangerous animals;
or dangerous chemicals.
You could even be injured because someone else makes a mistake.
There will always be health and safety risks at work, but employers have a legal responsibility to minimise the risks.
Your employer must explain the potential risks of your job.
Give you information.
Give you instructions, and provide training.
All this will help you to do your job safely.
Your employer must make sure you understand everything, including safety signs.
If you don’t understand, you can ask for more help.
Your employer must provide an experienced supervisor.
The supervisor and you must be able to understand each other.
If you use equipment, your employer must give you the right training before you begin.
Your employer must give you the right equipment for your job, and make sure it’s well maintained.
If your job requires protective clothing, your employer must provide this free of charge.
It must be good enough to keep you safe and protect your health.
There must be clean drinking water, toilet and washing facilities,
and emergency first aid.
Your employer must keep an accident book, where injuries, ill health or dangerous events are recorded.
Your employer must report these to the Health and Safety Executive.
Workers under the age of 18 have particular needs, and so do women, especially if they are pregnant or breast-feeding.
When you’re working in the UK, you have rights, but you also have responsibilities.
Don’t take risks -
and don’t put others at risk.
Follow the instructions and training you’ve been given.
Use work equipment as you were trained to do.
Help to reduce the health and safety risks in your work place.
If you see something dangerous, tell a supervisor.
Tell your employer in writing if you’re pregnant, breast-feeding, or have given birth in the past six months.
Your employer will decide what action is needed to protect you and your baby from risks at work.
If you’re concerned about health and safety at work, then HSE can help you.
We have a help line with interpreters.
All calls are confidential, and you don’t have to give your name.
If you have any questions or want information you can contact us.
We have information available in many languages on our website.
You can find all our contact details on the DVD sleeve.
If you have any questions or concerns about wages that are below the national minimum wage, working hours or the way an agency or gangmaster has treated you,
then you can contact the Pay and Work Rights help line
or visit the website.
We hope this DVD has given you useful information about working in the UK.
Remember, health and safety protection at work is your right, not a privilege.